Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
Let me burst your bubble. Someone started a nasty rumor that God would not allow us to handle more hardship than we could bear.
I know it sounds logical and even gracious of God but it is not entirely a complete picture of how God works.
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I was only in my late 30’s when I went to have a routine mammogram done. I was pretty good about my self-examinations so I was a bit disturbed when I was told that I needed to have an ultrasound.
Imagine my unbelief when my doctor informed me that the ultrasound had come back showing “irregularities” which turned out to be breast cancer.
Needless to say, I was devastated! This was the climax of many long years of hardship. No one told me that life as a believer would be so complicated and downright difficult.
In fact, I was led to believe that God would never allow me to face anything I could not handle. As I sunk into a pit of depression, I felt lost and cheated because I really had no way to process all of the problems I had. And now cancer was the final straw.
During a serious meltdown, I decided that I simply could not do this and I was right. I didn’t have the strength it took to fight.
In a final realization, I turned to a Scripture that spoke to my heart and reminded me that I was not alone:
“Even though Jesus was God’s son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8 (NLT)
While this did not immediately ease my pain, it gave me enough traction to keep praying and reading.
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
I was being set up! Even in the midst of my issues, I was being put into a position to learn a thing or two about being saved.
While the enemy was allowed to bring difficulties to me, God was using them as an opportunity to draw me closer to himself. Like Christ, I was learning obedience.
For me, obedience meant I was being compelled to pray more, read more, and seek God’s help. I needed Him simply because I could not handle the trauma alone. Nor could I heal myself.
My foolish pride was a problem. I needed to face the fact that if I did not have the faith to trust God to change my life and heal me, I could not please Him. I realized that God wanted me to trust Him implicitly with my whole life.
One of the biggest lessons I learned throughout my treatment was that God exists. He became more real to me than ever before. I began to talk to Him more and look to Him for even the smallest things because by this time, there was no one else I could ask.
He proved Himself to be the God that rewards people who seek Him. The whole time, He provided everything I needed: Rides to my treatments, other cancer patients to encourage me, financial support, food…you name it, and I had to trust Him to get it.
Had I not hit rock bottom, I wonder what my faith would be like today?
Though everything about ME proved to be inadequate, the Father was faithful to make sure that I would be made more into the image of Christ.
He made sure that despite my weaknesses, He would be glorified to others through me.
Because I am a flawed individual, I will always need God. There will never come a day when I can walk off on my own and not need His intervention in my life.
Because I am prone to shortcomings, I will always need His mercy. Where I am lacking are the very places where God fills in the blanks.
He is the only One who can compensate for the fact that I am incomplete without Him.
Having God is like having an iron-clad insurance policy that covers me no matter what situation I find myself in.
“If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there….even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” Psalms 139:8, 10 (NLT)
Please take a moment to meditate on these points to deepen your own understanding of how your own hardship ensures your connection to God:
- What is one of your own inadequacies that you believe you will always need God to cover?
- If you did not face hard times, what kind of faith would you have today?
- What events took place in your life that compelled you to look for God in the darkness?
- Did you find Him in those rough places to be a God of grace and mercy?
- How can you use your testimony of the tough places to serve others and ultimately glorify Him?
Gracious Lord, thank you that You are the God who loves me so much that You want me to be whole. Thank you for seeing my weaknesses and ensuring that I am not alone in them. Help me to always seek Your face, especially because I need You in every area of my life. It is only by Your power and Your Holy Spirit that I am able to survive and thrive.
Grant me a heart that longs for and seeks to please only You. Remind me that You have already begun a good work in me and You intend to complete it because it is not Your will that I be lost. Thank You that my weakness is a chance to rejoice in You. In Jesus Name.
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Paulina Stevenson is a Minister, Bible Teacher, Life Coach and Blogger. She specializes in spiritual development and healing from Toxic Relationships. You can find her at Kingdom Women Arise.